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Cashless Retail Transactions Promotes Discrimination in our Communities

WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) strives for equality of social and economic rights of all persons through pursuing enactment of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights; and

WHEREAS, many retail establishments have stopped accepting cash in exchange for goods and services, ostensibly in order increase efficiency and safety.  Debit and credit card payments comprise up 48% of all transactions in 2017; and

WHEREAS, financial institutions tend to require minimum balances, charge monthly fees, or impose penalties for overdrafts.  These features make banking off-limits to the socioeconomically disadvantaged, particularly communities of color. Further, some immigrants and elderly people simply may not trust banks and often refuse to use them.

WHEREAS, if society continues to move in the direction of a cashless system, some communities of color and immigrant communities will be driven to the edges of the economy; and

WHEREAS, those who oppose retailers going cashless point out that "not accepting cash hurts poorer residents who may not be able to afford or qualify for a credit card or who want to avoid fees that come with changing cash into a prepaid debit card." Privacy advocates also point out that "being forced to use a digital form of payment to buy things is a requirement to share records of their purchases with third-party companies."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP calls on Congress to pass legislation that would ban cashless retail stores throughout the country, essentially requiring these essential neighborhood businesses to accept cash.